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Donna Tartt - Money

After graduating in 1986, Tartt continued to wrestle with the ultimately 524-page book. With money from two brief jobs, her mother and the kindness of friends, Tartt scraped by. "I was too poor to have the manuscript xeroxed," she says. "I kept it hidden in my apartment in several piles so that if there was a fire it wouldn't all go up." Even now Tartt confesses to wanting to "take the book off the shelves in stores and scratch out words."

"I'm like Huck Finn," she says. "I can be perfectly happy on no money at all. Now that I have money, my life has changed not a bit. Everybody's expecting me to buy a condo, make investments. I don't care about any of that. I like ephemera - books, clothes. Food. That's all."

"I wrote this for fun, not for money," she says. "I'll never write a book for money, and with this I'll never have to. That's a wonderful feeling."

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